Security threat forces Gbagbo’s party chief to postpone visit to ex-first lady

“It shows that there is still limitation on freedom of movement and association; this is unfair and against democratic principles.”

Pascal N’guessan, the President, Cote d’Ivoire Popular Front, FPI, party of former President Laurent Gbagbo, was on Friday forced to postpone a planned visit to Gbogbo’s wife, Simone, for security reasons.

Simone, whose arrest and that of Gbagbo on April 11, 2011, officially ended Cote d’Ivoire’s post-election crisis, had been in detention in Odienne, northern part of the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that N’guessan had scheduled to visit Simone for the first time since 2011 as part of his on-going political tour of the northern region.

Local Cote d’Ivoire newspapers reported that the Mayor of Odienne, Nassénéba Touré-Diané, had issued a statement declaring the area unsafe for N’guessan.

The mayor had claimed that Odienne youth had already taken to the streets in protest against N’guessan’s visit.

The mayor was quoted as saying that the local authority could not guarantee the safety of N’guessan and his delegation as a result of the protest.

Meanwhile, the FPI, in a statement, described the decision of the local authority, as being unfair and undemocratic.

“It shows that there is still limitation on freedom of movement and association; this is unfair and against democratic principles,’’ the FPI said.

Northern Cote d’Ivoire is widely viewed as the stronghold of President Alassane Ouattara, who is from the northern village of Kong.

Cote d’Ivoire, world’s highest cocoa beans producer, was hit by a post-election violence that left the country divided along political and ethnic lines.

(NAN)


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